RNLI crew at work during yesterday's double rescue.
At 1.48 p.m. yesterday, November 16, Clogherhead RNLI volunteers were tasked by the Coast Guard to come to the aid of two vessels, one towing the other, drifting close to the entrance to Carlingford Lough.
The Clogherhead volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather Shannon class lifeboat immediately under Coxswain Sean Flanagan with five crew members onboard.
When the Clogherhead lifeboat reached the scene of the two drifting vessels at approximately 2.30 p.m. Kilkeel RNLI were already on standby at the scene. Sea conditions were calm at the time with good visibility and a southerly wind blowing.
It was found that one vessel was towing the other and the lead vessel had broken down. Both vessels with crew on board were drifting towards the shore. A local trawler had towed both vessels away from the shore to sea safety.
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Having assessed the situation, for the safety of the crew on board, a decision was made for Clogherhead RNLI volunteers to establish a towline to the leader vessel which was done successfully.
Both vessels were then towed back to the nearest safe port at Port Oriel, Clogherhead. The lifeboat arrived in Port Oriel at 5.30 p.m. where Clogherhead Coast Guard provided assistance with locating a berth for both vessels. The crew on the vessels were seen safely ashore.
Speaking after the call out, Clogherhead RNLI Coxswain Sean Flanagan said: “It was very important that the crew of the drifting vessels contacted the Coast Guard for assistance. Most importantly they were wearing lifejackets.
“With the help of Kilkeel RNLI volunteers we were able to assess the situation in a short space of time and thankfully, on this occasion, there was no risk to human life. We also appreciated the help of our colleagues in Clogherhead Coast Guard. Should you get into difficulty at sea always call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.”